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Discover it Miles Program Review: Get the Most Miles Out of Every Swipe

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Discover it Miles Program Review: Get the Most Miles Out of Every Swipe

Discover it® Miles rewards: The basics

Miles are earned with the Discover it® Miles, at a rate of 1.5 miles per dollar spent. Each mile is worth $.01 each, which means the card’s rewards rate is 1.5%. Miles can be redeemed for cash back or a statement credit against a variety of travel purchases.

Cards that earn these rewards

Currently, only the Discover it® Miles earns this type of rewards.

How to earn more miles with the Discover it® Miles

The Discover it® Miles offers few avenues for earning extra miles, beyond what you’re getting on purchases. There are no bonus spending categories where users can earn extra rewards, but it provides a bonus that will pump up your rewards balance: 50,000 Miles could turn into 100,000 Miles with Discover Match®. We'll automatically match all the Miles you earned at the end of your first year. Only for new cardmembers. There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn with this sign-on promotion.

You can also earn bonus cash back by shopping online through Discover Deals. Merchants and services include Apple.com and other electronics makers, department stores, tax preparation, car rental and cruises.

Overall, the best way to score more rewards is to use the card for every purchase you can.

How to redeem miles with the Discover it® Miles

You’ll have two opportunities for redeeming your rewards with the Discover it® Miles: cash back via a deposit into your linked bank account, or a statement credit against a travel purchase made in the past 180 days. Travel purchases include the usual airfare and hotel stays, but also taxis, commuter trains, car rentals, travel sites and more.

Miles can be redeemed in any amount, which is rare. Normally, cardholders are required to have a certain number of points or miles before they’re able to cash in, but the Discover it® Miles allows customers to redeem in an amount that suits their needs.

Regardless of how you choose to redeem, the value of your miles remains the same at $.01 apiece. This is unusual among travel credit cards, which typically penalize customers for non-travel redemptions in the form of a lower value per point/mile.

Consequently, there’s no “bad” way to redeem your miles with the Discover it® Miles, and both redemption options are equally good.

The fine print

The rewards program offered by the Discover it® Miles is pretty straightforward – there aren’t many gotchas in the fine print. There’s no limit to the miles you can earn, and miles never expire. Also, Discover will credit your linked bank account with your rewards if you close your account or it becomes inactive.

The beauty of the Discover it® Miles is that it isn’t fussy. This simplicity carries through to the card’s fine print.

More details about the Discover it® Miles

Discover It Miles Credit Card
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The Discover it® Miles hit the market in February 2015 and joined the ranks of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card as one of the Nerds’ favorite general travel credit cards.

As a reminder, the Discover it® Miles earns 1.5 miles on every dollar you spend, and these miles can be redeemed for cash back or a statement credit against travel purchases. It offers a signup bonus that is equal parts unusual and lucrative: 50,000 Miles could turn into 100,000 Miles with Discover Match®. We'll automatically match all the Miles you earned at the end of your first year. Only for new cardmembers.

Other important card features include:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Its annual fee is $0.
  • $30 annual in-flight Wi-Fi credit
  • Free FICO score access

The Discover it® Miles is an inexpensive choice for globetrotters looking to easily rack up big travel rewards on every purchase. Its only major drawback is that acceptance of Discover cards isn’t common in some parts of the world, so be sure to do a little research before booking an international trip.

Methodology

The calculated value of these points is based on an estimated redemption rate, not a credit card rewards earn rate. Therefore, you may notice that these numbers don’t match the rewards rates on our credit card finder tool. Read on for how we estimated these points values.

The terms and conditions for the Discover it® Miles card explicitly state that each mile is worth $.01, regardless of redemption method.

This means that a taxi ride that cost $25 would require 2,500 miles to pay for in full with rewards. Similarly, a $25 direct deposit into your bank account would require 2,500 miles.

This article was last updated July 11, 2016.